Mount Nelson, Cape Town

Location: The Nellie, as the locals call her, is a pink oasis perfectly placed at the base of Table Mountain and next to all the cool cafes and boutiques of the city centre.

First impression:  The Mount Nelson is the iconic Cape Town hotel and, like many grandes dames of a certain age, she’s refined, elegant and traditional. If she’s a little pleased with herself, she has earned it.
The lobby lounge plays host to the hotel’s afternoon tea – so extravagant it’s become a Cape Town institution – and leads out to impeccably manicured gardens and one of the hotel’s two heated swimming pools.

The facts: Gorgeous period features and English colonial decor reflect the hotel’s rich history – it first opened in 1899 – with vintage posters advertising ‘cheap trips to England’ at reception.
Despite its status the Nellie’s anything but stiff - you’ll find everyone from music industry moguls to grandmothers in their best hats sipping tea in the lounge or dining in the trendy Planet Restaurant and Bar.
Our Superior room in the Oasis wing had been recently refurbished and felt fresh and elegant, with a lovely view over the generous outdoor Oasis pool. Clients looking for more space and privacy could opt for one of the eight Garden Cottage Suites. These cute cottages with four poster beds, their own picket fences and rose gardens share a secluded swimming pool at the front of the main hotel.
Children are well catered for here, with a programme of activities for little ones including cricket matches, face painting and treasure hunts. There’s also a teen lounge with big screen TV and Xbox 360

A good base for: The Nellie is an easy walk from dozens of boutiques and quirky cafes on Kloof Street and Long Street. A ten minute taxi ride will take your clients to Cape Quarter, where they’ll find seriously stylish interiors stores, art galleries and a great selection of cafes and restaurants. The hotel also offers a complimentary transfers to the cable car at Table Mountain and the Victoria and Albert Waterfront.

Wow: Afternoon tea is really not to be missed – and is fantastic value compared to London hotels.

How much: Prices start from £221 per room, per night

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